Posted on: 24 September 2018
In the mists of time, you may have had a lot of dental work and were fitted with a number of crowns to account for some deterioration. If you're honest, you cannot remember when they were fitted and may be wondering how long they are expected to last. You may be considering a visit to your dentist but wonder what condition would give rise to replacement in the first place.
The honest answer is that no two crowns are the same, and much will depend on your standard of oral hygiene and the type of wear and tear that the crown is subject to during its life.
Traditionally, dental crowns would have been made of porcelain with a ceramic or fused-to-metal component. A ceramic crown will tend to fracture if it is subject to any trauma and, in this case, would need to be replaced completely as it will have lost its basic integrity. Dentists tend to choose fused-to-metal when they are working with back teeth for this reason, as there is a tremendous amount of force applied in the normal course of eating.
A fused-to-metal crown is made up of a metal "jacket", which is fused to a layer of porcelain on the outside to give the tooth its natural appearance. In this case, the damage will normally occur to the outer porcelain and not to the metal component, and this is much easier to repair as a consequence.
Many people tend to clench their teeth without knowing it, especially at night. This is known as bruxism, and it can apply a constant and negative pressure to your teeth without you even knowing it. If you suspect that you suffer from this condition you should get a mouthguard, as this will help to protect any crowns you do have.
Perhaps you should be worrying about the teeth that oppose your existing crowns instead. This is because these crowns can be made from stronger, denser or more abrasive materials than your natural teeth and will have a tendency to wear the others down more quickly.
In recent times, dentists have been using a new material called zirconium. This is revolutionary as it is very lightweight but strong and, because it looks just as natural as the originals, is ideal for the front teeth.
Make an appointment to see your dentist to get an interpretation of your current condition. They'll tell you whether you need to change some of your existing crowns or to upgrade to zirconium.Share